Watch New Zealand vs Bangladesh Complete Cricket 1st ODI on Dec 26, 2o16 at Tens Live
The Blackcaps and the Bangladeshi Tigers squared off against each other in the first of the three ODIs, here at Christchurch. Considering the rise of Bangladesh cricket in the last couple of years, this series was nicely set up and despite playing away from home, one expected them to give a strong competition to the Kiwis.
After winning the toss, New Zealand were off to a decent start as the openers scored the runs at 6 RPO and at the end of 5 overs, were 30/0. The comeback man, Mustafizur Rahman, then removed the dangerous Martin Guptill to provide Bangladesh with their first breakthrough. The wicket did slow things down a bit, but the experienced customers, in Latham and Williamson, got themselves going by rotating the strikes and hitting the occasional boundary.
Williamson played some lovely shots and built a nice little partnership with Latham, before he was dismissed by Taskin Ahmed for 31. On the fall of Williamson’s wicket, Latham – being the senior pro – took the responsibility on his shoulders and first along with Neil Broom and then with James Neesham, took his team beyond the 150-run mark. However, it was his partnership with Colin Munro that changed the course of the match and put his team in the driver’s seat.
The two batsmen added 158 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership and helped their team to post a total in excess of 300. Munro was particularly impressive as he came out to bat with an aggressive mindset and took the attack to the Bangladeshi bowlers. His approach not only improved the scoring rate, but also took the pressure off Latham, who was playing solidly at the other end.
Seeing his partner smashing the ball over the park, Latham too decided to join the party and smashed a few by himself. He also reached to his 2nd ODI hundred with a thunderous six over the mid-wicket fence. A few balls later, Munro replicated Latham as he too whacked a delivery to the same part of the ground to bring up his half-century.
With the last 10 overs left, both the left-handers turned on the destruction mode and scored the runs at a terrific pace. Boundaries and sixes were raining all over the Hagley Oval, as the visitors were left with no solution to stop the assault.
Munro, who raced away from 50 to 87 in mere in 15 balls, missed out on a well-deserved century as he got out to Shakib Al Hasan, who picked up his 3rd wicket. Latham (137) too was dismissed in the very next over, which resulted in the hosts losing a bit of momentum at the end of their innings. Nevertheless, the superb innings from the pair helped the Blackcaps to get a significant total of 341 on the board.
Bangladesh failed to get off to a solid start as Imrul Kayes, after struggling against the short ball, was dismissed by Southee for 16. James Neesham, then, gave them a double blow by getting rid of Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah in the very same over. A few overs later, Neesham picked up his third and got the destructive Tamim Iqbal back to the pavilion.
At this stage, it looked like Bangladesh would succumb to a smallish total and lose the match by a very big margin. But there was still some fight left in them, and that fightback was initiated by Shakib Al Hasan. He decided to counterattack the Kiwi bowlers and by scoring at a brisk pace, tried to shift the momentum in his team’s favour. Bangladesh needed him to continue for as long as possible, but sadly for them, he got out after scoring a blistering 54-ball 59.
With already five wickets down, New Zealand had a firm grip on the match and were the favourites to clinch the contest. However, they were made to wait a bit longer by the Bangladeshi batsmen before they could taste the victory. This time around it was the pair of Mushfiqur Rahim and Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, who strung a valuable partnership of 75 runs and got their team right back in the match.
Courtesy of their partnership, Bangladesh got themselves into a situation from where they could have gone all the way and plausibly win the match. Unfortunately for them, Rahim got retired hurt at the wrong time and it was all left up to Mosaddek to carry his team all the way through. He tried his best and single-handedly led his team’s fightback by scoring a scintillating half-century.
What was needed from Bangladesh’s point of view was someone to support him from the other end, but the tailenders could hardly offer any resistance and were dismissed cheaply by the Kiwi quicks. As it was not possible for Rahim to come out and bat again, Bangladesh were bowled out for 264 and eventually lost the match by 77 runs.